Saturday, February 19, 2011

The reason why I started to write this blog was because I was alone in the forest with an old monk who had not much idea about the Dhamma and who didn’t speak English anyway and I didn’t speak Thai. My teacher had left to America and I had no one to talk to. I reckoned that my teacher would eventually read a blog if I would write one and somehow guide me if it would be necessary. Don’t know if it worked.
Now, being Bhikkhuni it’s much more difficult to write about experiences made in meditation, there are rules which I can easily break.
Even if I write 100 times “this experience does not mean I’m enlightened”, someone may not read it and think I’m boosting with my attainments - which, honestly, never was my intention. If it sounded as if, please forgive, I was and am defiled and conceited. So, for this and for the reason I already mentioned: by making stories out of things a sense of self is being manifested as “I am”, “this is my experience”, “this I have been through” ... keeping me attached to this “I” more than a silly nun, who just wishes to let go of the sense of self, can cope with.

The past is past.

For now until further notice I will not continue the blog. The story of the silly nun came to an end (which does {unfortunately :o)} not mean that I became enlightened.)Later I will continue here or start another blog in farther future to share the Dhamma and where’s and what’s. I’ll let you know.

Friends and family– as well as those who have questions on the Dhamma and think I could answer them – can write to my e-mail . I’m not online often but will answer as soon as possible.

If anybody wants to practice meditation I recommend to come to Wat Rampoeng, in North Thailand, this is where I am now and I can recommend the center and the teacher and the meditation method taught there.

For all who read this, I wish you the best of luck. May you always be in conditions to learn and grow on the spiritual path, may you have faith that nibbana is possible.
Do the right thing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

telling stories

It becomes much more difficult to write here.
Every single moment is a story, through meditation the experiancing of all sensations becomes much more intense and clear. And I love telling all the stories. But I see in meditation that every story I tell is keeping me attched to “I am” and “things are as I see and tell them” which is limiting the mind immensely. So, what to do?
Being restraint and not telling anything unless it’s the Dhamma or share what I want to share to have it said and let go of it. Don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll find a way to keep friends and family updated.
My health is improving and I don’t have vomits, diarreah or strong pain since I took the anti parasite medicine, large amounts of different antibiotics and Two Mae Chiis are providing garlic free food. The immune system was kind of down from all this stomach problems, so I chaught a heavy cold and had after that the shingles which kept coming back for over a month and a half. But even this seems to be past now. How luxurious. Health! I apprechiate to have a healthy body again and am kind of attached to it, as it seems.
The original idea had been to get to Thailand, meditate, get a one year visa, go back to the kuti, close the door and meditae at least until next vassa, but I got only a 2 month tourist visa for. Went to Laos for the purpose of getting a 3 month visa but, no, the boss changed and they can’t do it anymore without the letter from the Buddhistoffice.
It’s funny, as a Bhikkhuni I’m not existant here in Thailand – non-self, anatta, officially, by law. Now only my mind has to get this point, then I would be really free. Well, maybe some more meditation helps :o)
I know a women from the buddhist office and she is so upset that she can’t help, but if someone there gave me this letter, they would break the law, so I understand their situation and am not angry. Although I noticed a slight tone of selfpity when I answered to her question about where I will go next with “I don’t know”.
All the time in retreat I felt like it’s getting too much and I can’t go on with meditation. Sometimes I thought I reached where I can get with this defiled mind and not further, I am attached and can’t let go of certain things because I’m just not strong enough. I felt sick most of the time but not unhappy, but stressed by havig to meditate 12 hours minimum per day. I just couldn’t because it happened that I sometimes slept 12 hours to get this sickness out of the body. Then Ajahn agreed that I don’t have to meditate 12 hours but to try not to sleep more then 4 hours at night. Usually possible on retreat because meditation is better than sleep. But not this time. I also thought with the so well known selfpity that I might possibly have a really severe desease. (Some of the parasites have been severe and could, untreatened, have caused dead - but they are gone.)
I found out that what I thought to be compassion was in reality sorrow, which is close but not quite the same. Let’s say it’s the defiled sibling. Sometimes compassion arises in overwhelming amounts … I see the suffering, experience it with all the senses internal and external suffering. Sometimes I fear I will go mad because I just don’t bear it anymore. Sometimes I manage to have some compassion with myself which is very different from having selfpity. Sometimes I feel with the ants when I sweep and almost cry because they are so far from the Dhamma and from the possibility to become enlightened and have to face so much to suffering, to carry so heavy loads and bear this enormous huge being pushing them around with the broom. Some of them know and try to hide when they hear the broom on the floor.
Not that I can read minds, by far not but I see the suffering in peoples faces, sometimes even some of their defilements. Oh, it is so much easier to see the defilements of somebody else rather than one’s own. Where to put the arising compassion? What to do with this love? Body and mind seem to burst sometimes.
I was told as a child every thing will be good every thing will be fine. And I’m still waiting fot the day to come. With the Buddha’s Dhamma I have at least a tool at hand which enables one who followes the instuctions to become free from suffering.
It’s not that I’m unhappy even when I experience almost nothing else but suffering presently. More than ever before I see the limitations of my mind, not able to let go what makes an “I” out of this body and mind. I see my will, the volition, standing in my way to liberation - and the one I have to overcome is strong!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

in brief

Yes, yes, yes. I’m alive, well, happy, Bhikkhuni, back to Thailand and on retreat agin.
Sorry for not writing earlier.
Now I’ll try to catch up in brief to the latest news. Which is not easy because the time was so full and rich that every hour was worth to be mentioned in (this unimportant) blog.
I remember mentioning Willis pancakes in one of the last posts I wrote.
Well, after that I got back to America, San Francisco. A friend of the Dhammadharini picked me up at the airport and took me straight to the forest where I had spent one day and night in April.
A large area of natural grown redwood forest on a hillside given to the Bhikkhuni Sangha by the wonderful person Jill, who her self lives on another part of the land. I found a spot to stay which was - in my opinion - the most beautiful spot. Meditation there was so great and easy …
Conditions were kind of rough. The facilities extremely basic but the spirit wonderful. On my second day I received Samaneri ordination and could finally make use of the robes Sirikarn gave me and I was carrying around since months. It was a simple but beautiful ceremony.
From the beginning on I felt rather bad, physically, after sitting and walking meditation for so long my muscles had degenerated. Every step one made was either up or down the hill, it took two weeks to build up some muscles again. And I had again stomach problems, different than in Thailand, but quite present pain, gases and diarrhea. I did mention sometimes that I feel like a wrack and needed a lot more sleep then usually but only in the end, I could go to see the doctor to and took some antibiotics to get rid of intestinal bacteria.
The prospect of being ordained as Bhikkhuni and the good meditation on the land made me forget the pains and hardships and I was very happy all the time. The ordination took place on the 29th of August and was an auspicious, marvelous, beautiful event. It felt so right, so right to finally take the ordination. The end of an inacceptable situation, which makes life much more complicated but gives it sense somehow. It was Americas first dual- ordination with all four parts of the fourfold assembly present. Bhikkhus, Bhikkhunis, lay men, lay women. Maybe I find a link to some pictures and to an article in the huffington post, if so I’ll publish it here. s
Bhante Gunaratana, who was the elder who gave us our first ovada after the ceremony said to me “And now do never disrobe again.” Yes, may I never disrobe! Still so much joy and gratefulness arises often when I become aware of being Bhikkhuni. It feels right.
After the ordination I had two weeks for personal retreat. Great time! Without the pain and diarrhea I would probably have levitated above the hillside out of joy. With the pains and so I at least had a very happy time sitting on my cushion.
It was good to come to know that women groups are not necessarily dominated by hormone driven disasters, hysteric attacks, endless chatter – which can turn 3 month in torture. No, this group, and after our ordination, this Sangha was harmonious, friendly, open and supportive. I was not the only one with health problems but nobody complained. There was too much work to do, no end to see and everybody wished to have more time for meditation – but that was just not possible.
Back in Thailand I was very well cared by Sirikarn who picked me up at the airport and cared for me for some days. With her help I could get from one place to another without breaking any rules …
I arrived at my former monastery on the Kathina day. The welcoming was very warm. Many, many people Mae Chiis, monks, lay people, rejoiced that I had become ordained. Ajahn gave me some time for rest, two day to be exact, then I started a retreat. It took about one month.
Now we tried to get a one year visa for me, no problem as Mae Chii to get one, but as Bhikkhuni I don’t get it because Bhikkhunis do not exist according to Thai law. They suggested I could disrobe … funny. What I can get are 3 months visas, as it seems, so I’ll try my luck with this and consider to travel to Sri Lanka and Australia.

Monday, August 30, 2010

ordination ...

the wish to ordained as Bhikkhuni has ceased into a peaceful smile.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


the time I spend in Germany is flying by. Tomorrow I will head back to North California and spend my vassa, the rains retreat in a redwood forest Sonoma coast together with Bhikkhunis, Samaneris and lay women.

If you ever want to do a retreat in Germany, practicing mostly on your own, I would recommend the Anenja Vihara. (just write the name in google and you get to their web page in German or English)It is a small monastery for women in one of the most beautiful places of Germany. I met two Samaneris and two Bhikkhunis there, all very nice, friendly women keeping up strict monastic life. A little bit aside of the mainhouse is a caravan for men, so, dudes you are not excluded from this lovely spot. I hope to get there again one day and will meet the head of the vihara, who was on Tudong for some weeks when I came.

For now I just hope that I will be able to enter the USA without problems and will not be caught in customs for many hours as it happened last time. I have documents that show that I'm invited, that I have my roots somewhere else in, not in America and a ticket to leave the country on time, at the end of October to Thailand. A Thaiwoman whom I met last time will pick me up at the airport and bring me to the Vihara of the Bhikkhunis who together with friends prepared the forest site since months to become a suitable vassa retreat place. I followed their efforts online and feel ashamed that I was not there to help. But I have an incontrovertible excuse, US visa restrictions.

I will be offline with very few exceptions. In case of emergency please write to, messages will be forwarded. But of course I do hope nobody will need to send an emergency-message.

May you who reads this and all beings be happy and peaceful every moment. Love is there when you have it in your heart.

P.S.: As a farewell lunch my mother's friend Willi prepared the world's best apple and blueberry pancake today. Yesterday he made another of my favorite dishes, Reibekuchen ... Danke Willi!

Friday, July 16, 2010

western diseas

Another phenomena of people living in households is to need to be the one who is right.
Yes, I was like that and I apologize if any victim of my former need to be right is reading this. What a hell. We are all getting older. End really comes into sight, we should make sure that we do good for others and to be with people who wants to do good for us as well.
But no! The contrary is the case.
Instead of creating an ambiance of peace and harmony where one cares for the pains and hardships of the others, for the well being of all, care is just focused on the fault of the others and on being right.
There is no sense in wanting to be right, having the last word, dominating the other, in biting and biting back. The seed of hatred is set with every word that is spoken by wanting to be right. That’s pure suffering.
Maybe it comes along with the pain …
When I started to write this blog I was the same, I remember post telling about monks behavior and there was the wanting to be right involved. It changed by the time - yet it's not gone it still arises in me but I can observe it and let it more and more often.
Now I write about people in my environment and feel I do it out of compassion. Is that so, Phalanyani? Even in this compassion that sometimes is unbearable strong there is a touch of "I know better". It upsets me a bit to see people act and speak hurting themselves and others. And sadness has it’s roots in anger or different said: it is arising because I have a disposition for anger and the wanting to be right eg. want the people to understand that developing peace and love is just more fun. Hence, I’m still creating unwholesome … If I were radiating peace and love people around me could see what fun that is.
So, excuse me everybody, there is work to do.

Meeting the past

Now, again at my mother’s house I stay in the room that was my room for long. It is a little bit like a kuti, a small kuti though. It has a bed, a shelf and a heater. It is separated from the rest of the house through a small patio and originally was a storage for tools and stuff but I was very happy to have a room on my own and not to share with my sister. It’s not a perfect nun’s quarter but it is allowable because it is separate. As all things from childhood the room, too, looks smaller now than it did then.
To my big surprise the town has developed to its better. When the family moved here about 43 years ago the settlement was build on farmland in the middle of nowhere on the edge of a small village, some forest, some farms and a highway. The trees of the settlement are grown now some forest is still left. Not that I really like it – but it gained charm with the years.
It is very interesting meeting people, most are very friendly to me, although some stare. My mother’s spouse picked me up and brings me if I have something to do (like applying for a visa) he often cooks (very good), likes my dog and shares his food with it. By the way: It’s not my dog anymore, it clearly states that it want to be my mother’s dog.
I recognize some of the neighbors by hearing their voices but if I would meet them somewhere I would not know them. It quite a while since I came here last time … Only one, I will always recognize. She got older, has feeble health but she is as warm hearted and loving as she always was. Meeting her again after many, many years I wanted to tell her how much she means to me, how she changed my life, directed it into the good direction, how important she was etc. With a short, harsh “I know” she interrupted me and smiled in a way that almost made me cry. LOVE.
All people around me have strong pain, physical they say. It is really astonishing, everybody I meet here speaks of pain. Is it a new German phenomena??? I can’t help because my “accept it”, “breath into it”, ”just observe it and take it as what it is, a feeling” are not very popular. I’m very sorry and would love to be able to give relief from pain but can’t and don’t believe in healing powers other than the power of one’s own mind. But it is interesting to see how different people are dealing with their pain.
From lamenting, silent bearing, taking pills or drown the pain in alcohol every strategy is present. How lucky am I to have no pain (or just very little). There is no escape from it. All these strategies don’t work well, all just temporary solutions. How would I wish to tell all these people to focus on the pain to see through it and make peace with it.